A voiceless alveolar affricate is a type of affricate consonant pronounced with the tip or blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge (gum line) just behind the teeth. This refers to a class of sounds, not a single sound. There are several types with significant perceptual differences:

This article discusses the first two.

Voiceless alveolar sibilant affricate

"Voiceless dental affricate" redirects here. For the non-sibilant affricate, see Voiceless dental non-sibilant affricate.

Voiceless alveolar sibilant affricate
IPA Number103 132
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ʦ
Unicode (hex)U+02A6

The voiceless alveolar sibilant affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The sound is transcribed in the International Phonetic Alphabet with t͡s or t͜s (formerly with ʦ or ƾ). The voiceless alveolar affricate occurs in many Indo-European languages, such as German (which was also part of the High German consonant shift), Kashmiri, Marathi, Pashto, Russian and most other Slavic languages such as Polish and Serbo-Croatian; also, among many others, in Georgian, in Mongolia, and Tibetan Sanskrit, in Japanese, in Mandarin Chinese, and in Cantonese. Some international auxiliary languages, such as Esperanto, Ido and Interlingua also include this sound.


Features of the voiceless alveolar sibilant affricate:


The following sections are named after the fricative component.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
German Standard[2] Zeit [t͡sʰäɪ̯t] 'time' The fricative component varies between dentalized laminal, non-retracted laminal and non-retracted apical.[2] See Standard German phonology
Italian Standard[3] grazia [ˈɡrät̚t͡sjä] 'grace' The fricative component varies between dentalized laminal and non-retracted apical. In the latter case, the stop component is laminal denti-alveolar.[3] See Italian phonology

Dentalized laminal alveolar

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Armenian Eastern[4] ցանց/chanch [t̻͡s̪ʰan̪t̻͡s̪ʰ] 'net' Contrasts aspirated and unaspirated forms
Basque[5] hotz [o̞t̻͡s̪] 'cold' Contrasts with a sibilant affricate with an apical fricative component.[5]
Belarusian[6] цётка/cötka [ˈt̻͡s̪ʲɵtka] 'aunt' Contrasting palatalization. See Belarusian phonology
Bulgarian[7] цар/car [t̻͡s̪är] 'Tsar' See Bulgarian phonology
Chinese Mandarin[8][9] 早餐/zao can/tsau ts'an [t̻͡s̪ɑʊ˨˩ t̻͡s̪ʰan˥] 'breakfast' Contrasts with aspirated form. See Standard Chinese phonology
Cantonese 早餐/zou² caan¹ /t͡sou˧˥ t͡sʰaːn˥/ 'breakfast' See Cantonese phonology
Czech[10] co [t̻͡s̪o̝] 'what' See Czech phonology
Hungarian[11] cica [ˈt̻͡s̪it̻͡s̪ɒ] 'kitten' See Hungarian phonology
Japanese 津波/tsunami [t̻͡s̪ɯ̟ᵝnämi] 'Tsunami' Allophone of /t/ before /u/. See Japanese phonology
Kashmiri ژاس/tsās [t͡saːs] 'cough'
Kashubian[12] [example needed]
Kazakh[13] инвестиция/investitsiya [investit̻͡s̪əja] 'price' Only in loanwords from Russian[13][14] See Kazakh phonology and Kyrgyz phonology
Latvian[15] cena [ˈt̻͡s̪en̪ä] 'price' See Latvian phonology
Macedonian[16] цвет/cvet [t̻͡s̪ve̞t̪] 'flower' See Macedonian phonology
Pashto څــلور/calor [ˌt͡səˈlor] 'four' See Pashto phonology
Polish[17] co [t̻͡s̪ɔ] 'what' See Polish phonology
Romanian[18] preț [pre̞t̻͡s̪] 'price' See Romanian phonology
Russian[7] царь/caŕ [t̻͡s̪ärʲ] 'Tsar' See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[19][20] циљ / cilj / ڄیڵ [t̻͡s̪îːʎ] 'target' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovak cisár [t̻͡s̪isaːr] 'emperor' See Slovak phonology
Slovene[21] cvet [t̻͡s̪ʋêːt̪] 'bloom' See Slovene phonology
Tyap tsa [t͡sa] 'to begin'
Ukrainian[22] цей/cej [t̻͡s̪ɛj] 'this one' Contrasting palatalization. See Ukrainian phonology
Upper Sorbian[23] cybla [ˈt̻͡s̪ɘblä] 'onion'
Uzbek[24] [example needed]

Non-retracted alveolar

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Arabic Najdi[25] ك‍‍لب/tsalb [t͡salb] 'dog' Corresponds to /k/ and /t͡ʃ/ in other dialects
Asturian Some dialects[26] otso [ˈot͡so] 'eight' Corresponds to standard /t͡ʃ/
Ḷḷena, Mieres, and others ḷḷuna [ˈt͡sunɐ] 'moon' Alveolar realization of che vaqueira instead of normal retroflex [ʈ͡ʂ]
Basque[5] hots [ot̻͡s̺] 'sound' The fricative component is apical. Contrasts with a laminal affricate with a dentalized fricative component.[5]
Catalan[27] potser [puˈt̻͡s̺(ː)e] 'maybe' The fricative component is apical. Only restricted to morpheme boundaries, some linguistics do not consider it a phoneme (but a sequence of [t] + [s]). Long and short versions of intervocalic affricates are in free variation in Central Catalan [tsː] ~ [ts]. See Catalan phonology
Central Alaskan Yup'ik[28] cetaman [t͡səˈtaman] 'four' Allophone of /t͡ʃ/ before schwa
Chamorro[29] CHamoru [t͡sɑˈmoːɾu] 'Chamorro' Spelled Chamoru in the orthography used in the Northern Mariana Islands.
Chechen цаца / caca / ر̤ار̤ا [t͡sət͡sə] 'sieve'
Cherokee[30] ᏣᎳᎩ tsalagi [t͡salaɡi] 'Cherokee'
Danish Standard[31] to [ˈt̻͡s̺ʰoːˀ] 'two' The fricative component is apical.[31] In some accents, it is realized as [tʰ].[31] Usually transcribed /tˢ/ or /t/. Contrasts with the unaspirated stop [t], which is usually transcribed /d̥/ or /d/. See Danish phonology
Dargwa цадеш / adeş / ڝادەش [t͡sadeʃ] 'unity, oneness'
Dutch Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect[32] mat [ˈmät͡s] 'market' Optional pre-pausal allophone of /t/.[32] See Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect phonology
English Broad Cockney[33] tea [ˈt͡səˑi̯] 'tea' Possible word-initial, intervocalic and word-final allophone of /t/.[34][35] See English phonology
Received Pronunciation[35] [ˈt͡sɪˑi̯]
New York[36] Possible syllable-initial and sometimes also utterance-final allophone of /t/.[36] See English phonology
New Zealand[37] Word-initial allophone of /t/.[37] See English phonology
North Wales[38] [ˈt͡siː] Word-initial and word-final allophone of /t/; in free variation with a strongly aspirated stop [tʰ].[38] See English phonology
Port Talbot[39] Allophone of /t/. In free variation with [tʰʰ].[39]
Scouse[40] Possible syllable-initial and word-final allophone of /t/.[40] See English phonology
General South African[41] wanting [ˈwɑnt͡sɪŋ] 'wanting' Possible syllable-final allophone of /t/.[41]
Esperanto cico ['t͡sit͡so] 'nipple' See Esperanto phonology
Filipino tsokolate [t͡sokɔlate] 'chocolate'
French Quebec tu [t͡sy] 'you' Allophone of /t/ before /i, y/.
Georgian[42] კა/k'atsi [kʼɑt͡si] 'man'
Haida x̱ants [ʜʌnt͡s] 'shadow' Allophone of /t͡ʃ/.[43]
Luxembourgish[44] Zuch [t͡suχ] 'train' See Luxembourgish phonology
Marathi चा/tsamtsā ['t͡səmt͡saː] 'spoon' Represented by /च/, which also represents [t͡ʃ]. It is not a marked difference.
Nepali चा/tsāp [t͡säp] 'pressure' Contrasts aspirated and unaspirated versions. The unaspirated is represented by /च/. The aspirated sound is represented by /छ/. See Nepali phonology
Portuguese European[45] parte sem vida [ˈpaɾt͡sẽj ˈviðɐ] 'lifeless part' Allophone of /t/ before /i, ĩ/, or assimilation due to the deletion of /i ~ ɨ ~ e/. Increasingly used in Brazil.[46]
Brazilian[45][46] participação [paʁt͡sipaˈsɐ̃w̃] 'participation'
Most speakers[47] shiatsu [ɕiˈat͡su] 'shiatsu' Marginal sound. Many Brazilians might break the affricate with epenthetic [i], often subsequently palatalizing /t/, specially in pre-tonic contexts (e.g. tsunami [tɕisuˈnɜ̃mʲi]).[48] See Portuguese phonology
Spanish Madrid[49] ancha [ˈänʲt͡sʲä] 'wide' Palatalized;[49] with an apical fricative component. It corresponds to [t͡ʃ] in standard Spanish. See Spanish phonology
Some Rioplatense dialects tía ['t͡siä] 'aunt'
Some Venezuelan dialects zorro t͡so̞ro̞] 'fox' Allophone of /s/ word initially.
Tamil Jaffna Tamil ந்தை/cantai [t͡sɐn̪d̪ɛi̯] 'market' Rare, other realizations include [t͡ʃ, ʃ, s].[50]
Telugu ట్టి/ĉaṭṭi [t͡sɐʈʈi] 'pot'

Voiceless alveolar non-sibilant affricate

Voiceless alveolar non-sibilant affricate
Audio sample



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Dutch Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect[32] verbèganger [vərˈbɛːɣäŋət͡ɹ̝̊] 'passer-by' A possible realization of word-final /r/ before pauses.[32]
English General American[51] tree [t͡ɹ̝̊ʷɪi̯] 'tree' Phonetic realization of the stressed, syllable-initial sequence /tr/; more commonly postalveolar [t̠ɹ̠̊˔].[51] See English phonology
Received Pronunciation[51]
Italian Sicily[52] straniero [st͡ɹ̝̊äˈnjɛɾo] 'foreign' Apical. Regional realization of the sequence /tr/; may be a sequence [tɹ̝̊] or [tɹ̝] instead.[53] See Italian phonology

See also


  1. ^ Puppel, Nawrocka-Fisiak & Krassowska (1977:149), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:154)
  2. ^ a b Mangold (2005), pp. 50 and 52.
  3. ^ a b Canepari (1992), pp. 75–76.
  4. ^ Kozintseva (1995), p. 6.
  5. ^ a b c d Hualde, Lujanbio & Zubiri (2010:1). Although this paper discusses mainly the Goizueta dialect, the authors state that it has "a typical, conservative consonant inventory for a Basque variety".
  6. ^ Padluzhny (1989), pp. 48–49.
  7. ^ a b Chew (2003), p. 67.
  8. ^ Lee & Zee (2003), pp. 109–110.
  9. ^ Lin (2001), pp. 17–25.
  10. ^ Palková (1994), pp. 234–235.
  11. ^ Szende (1999), p. 104.
  12. ^ Jerzy Treder. "Fonetyka i fonologia". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  13. ^ a b Kara (2002), p. 10.
  14. ^ a b Kara (2003), p. 11.
  15. ^ Nau (1998), p. 6.
  16. ^ Lunt (1952), p. 1.
  17. ^ Rocławski (1976), pp. 160.
  18. ^ Ovidiu Drăghici. "Limba Română contemporană. Fonetică. Fonologie. Ortografie. Lexicologie" (PDF). Retrieved April 19, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ Kordić (2006), p. 5.
  20. ^ Landau et al. (1999), p. 66.
  21. ^ Pretnar & Tokarz (1980), p. 21.
  22. ^ S. Buk; J. Mačutek; A. Rovenchak (2008). "Some properties of the Ukrainian writing system". Glottometrics. 16: 63–79. arXiv:0802.4198.
  23. ^ Šewc-Schuster (1984), pp. 22, 38).
  24. ^ Sjoberg (1963), p. 12.
  25. ^ Lewis, Jr. (2013), p. 5.
  26. ^ "Normes ortográfiques, Academia de la Llingua Asturiana" (PDF) (in Asturian). p. 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-03-23.
  27. ^ Recasens & Espinosa (2007), p. 144.
  28. ^ Jacobson (1995), p. 2.
  29. ^ Chung (2020), p. 645.
  30. ^ Uchihara, Hiroto (2016). Tone and Accent in Oklahoma Cherokee. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-873944-9.
  31. ^ a b c Grønnum (2005), p. 120.
  32. ^ a b c d Peters (2010), p. 240.
  33. ^ Wells (1982), pp. 322–323.
  34. ^ Wells (1982), p. 323.
  35. ^ a b Cruttenden (2014), p. 172.
  36. ^ a b Wells (1982), p. 515.
  37. ^ a b Bauer et al. (2007), p. 100.
  38. ^ a b Penhallurick (2004), pp. 108–109.
  39. ^ a b Connolly, John H. (1990). English in Wales: Diversity, Conflict, and Change. Multilingual Matters Ltd.; Channel View Publications. pp. 121–129. ISBN 1-85359-032-0.
  40. ^ a b Wells (1982), p. 372.
  41. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2013), p. 194.
  42. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006), p. 255.
  43. ^ ERIC - ED162532 - Haida Dictionary., 1977. SPHLL, c/o Mrs. 1977.
  44. ^ Gilles & Trouvain (2013), pp. 67–68.
  45. ^ a b Alice Telles de Paula. "Palatalization of dental occlusives /t/ and /d/ in the bilingual communities of Taquara and Panambi, RS" (PDF) (in Portuguese). p. 14.
  46. ^ a b Camila Tavares Leite. "Seqüências de (oclusiva alveolar + sibilante alveolar) como um padrão inovador no português de Belo Horizonte" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2014-12-12.
  47. ^ Ana Beatriz Gonçalves de Assis. "Adaptações fonológicas na pronúncia de estrangeirismos do Inglês por falantes de Português Brasileiro" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-12-13. Retrieved 2014-12-12.
  48. ^ Aline Aver Vanin. "A influência da percepção inferencial na formação de vogal epentética em estrangeirismos" (in Portuguese).
  49. ^ a b Klaus Kohler. "Castilian Spanish – Madrid".
  50. ^ Zvelebil, Kamil (1965). Some features of Ceylon Tamil. Indo-Iranian Journal. Vol. 9. JSTOR. pp. 113–138. JSTOR 24650188.
  51. ^ a b c Cruttenden (2014), pp. 177, 186–188, 192.
  52. ^ Canepari (1992), p. 64.
  53. ^ Canepari (1992), pp. 64–65.